The politics of Jesus

THE words and actions of Jesus have long been exploited and bastardised by politicians of all colours.

No other spiritual leader’s teaching has been so used, and abused, as political fodder.

To the religious Right, Jesus has been depicted as a conservative who detests gay people and Hip Hop. To the liberals, Jesus has been painted as a tree-loving pacifist. And probably a vegetarian.
Neither view seems to be based on what he actually said and did.
Jesus of Nazareth said His kingdom was not in this world. But the philosophy he preached transformed world political systems.
Political analyst Tod Lindberg, in his book, The Political Teachings of Jesus, sees the man from Nazareth as a profound thinker and a man of great political insight. He says his teachings are the “unacknowledged bedrock’’ of the modern world and the basis of democracy.
Under Jesus’ philosophy, everyone has free will to choose their own destinies. It is the ultimate democracy.
Lindberg proclaims the simple genius of the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. It is the ethical core of Jesus teachings
Lindberg says the philosophy offers a coherent account of how to live in the world. More importantly, it is a “revolution in the idea of freedom’’.
Observing the rule requires us to see others as our equals deserving of equal rights and dignity. It requires us all to be part of a community of goodwill.
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Lindberg points out that there are variations of The Golden Rule in other religious philosophies. But they are generally stated negatively – don’t do to someone else what you dont want done to you. Jesus philosophy is positive. And, Lindberg says, offers a greater range of possibility for mutually beneficial interaction than any other philosophy.

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8 thoughts on “The politics of Jesus

  1. ooops! —> “Under Jesus’ philosophy, everyone has free will to choose their own destinies. It is the ultimate democracy.”
    It’s merit lies in the fact that it’s the ultimate ANARCHY!
    ….about as far from ‘democracy’ (rule of the people) as it’s possible to get.

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  2. Jesus and politics…. that’s always been bastardised as you say Bryan. But I advise people to try an experiment : Write all the things the western left say on your left… and then write all the things the western right say on your right. Then compare lists … very interesting.

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  3. What is unique, and precious about the Christ Jesus teachings?
    You have to accept Jesus’ full Divine substance first, then you would be able to understand, and delightfully, follow Jesus Human teachings!
    If you cannot believe in His Divine heavenly source, how can you accept His human teachings?
    The Spiritual identity of Christ has not only anticipated our short-lived, shortsighted, rules and teachings, but also outlasted our human earthly wisdom and teachings forever!
    The superaddition of His Divine, Righteous Personality, has sealed, and produced His teachings, and commandments. Moreover, it wasn’t just about changing hearts and minds, as it’s about injecting real life into a perishable, deadly systems, and perceptions.
    He has presented Himself as new living hope, through new mutual bond, that unifying, and drawing the human race towards His new spiritual and social identity.
    Jesus teachings have to be seen in the context of both His Divine, and Human nature.

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  4. “But the philosophy he preached transformed world political systems.”
    Sure did. This is a speech given by Hitler on April 12, 1922 (The Speeches of Adolf Hitler Ed. Norman Baynes) :-

    My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who, once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and a man I read through the passage which tells me how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison……as a Christian I also have a duty to my people.

    It seems Hitler’s atheism might be slightly exaggerated.

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  5. One of the major controversies among Christians is the extent of predestination or free will that God has ordained. At the extremes are those who claim that God uses only one to the exclusion of the other. The Bible clearly indicates that both predestination and free will are in operation, and the percentage of each we should expect is one of the differences between various denominations, it seems!

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